by Michelle Unger
OneGreatFamily is an "online only" genealogical software program and the company offers a seven-day free trial to allow you to check it out. After signing up, you will receive a confirmation email with a link and directions on how to proceed. You will be asked to create a group name. At this point, the user needs to make sure pop-ups are not being blocked because the window in which you enter information will be opened. The program then gives you the option of uploading any GEDcom information you already have completed or you may begin inputting the data from scratch.
After leaving the program, to come back, one simply has to log back into the system. After logging in, you will be sent to a page where you can manage your account. From here, you have a number of options: subscribing, creating a new group, inviting others to join your group, completing a search, printing fo rms and charts, etc. By clicking on one of your groups (u sually highlighted in orange), a new screen will pop up and will load the actual software program. Once the program has generated, you may begin inputting information.
On the far, top left of the page, you will find the "anchor" or the main person you are working on. Under that person, the spouse can be added. Directly to the right you will see lines and a box to add the father. To add the birth and death information for that person, simply click on the box. Under the father's box is the box for the mother. In order to create a marriage between the two individuals, click on family info tab located between the two boxes. It is here you may add other notes, research information, multimedia files, etc. When finished, simply click 'ok' and it will move back to the main view. To add children to the anchor, double-click on the box at the bottom left of the screen. To add other siblings, you may also double-click on the box below the mother's input box.
When working between generations, you may either choose a different anchor by clicking on the name of the person or by clicking the arrow to the right of the mother or father's box. This will move you quickly through generations or quickly change anchors for you. To the right of the screen, you will see the pedigree chart. You may zoom in or zoom out. This side of the screen will let you know if there were any conflicts, how many generations, etc. Throughout the process of entering information and switching between generations, the program will update automatically and make you aware of any conflicts it finds or if any information has been merged.
This program is unique in how it offers some information. For instance, after entering the name, date-of-birth, christening, death/burial and the places these things occurred, you can choose view and create family group sheet. The information you inputted will automatically generate in the family group sheet. Like many other genealogy programs, this form will generate a pedigree chart. Another unique quality of this program is its searches. It will often give you a choice of where you want to conduct the search instead of searching solely within the program, i.e. in onegreatfamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Ancestry.com, the Social Security Death Index, etc.
Overall, I found this program easy to use. I had some trouble when first starting, but once I went through the tutorial, I was able to figure out where I went wrong and correct myself. The "help" menu is very useful if you are having trouble. For those without a DSL connection, it may take a little time to switch between anchors/generations. One also need s to remember that this is an "online only" program and could tie up a lot of time on your phone line.
I encourage anyone using this or any genealogical software program to save a copy of their GEDcom file. Most programs allow the uploading of this and will save a lot of time.
If you would like to go ahead and subscribe, they offer a range of billing methods: one full year of service is $74.95 (billed annually); 3 months of service are $24.95 (billed quarterly); and one month of service for $14.95 (billed monthly). Visit OneGreatFamily and see what a great use of technology can deliver.